9-24-2013 8-09-24 PMThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS 7, Yankees 0 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Joe Maddon. It seems like Joe Maddon has somebody new leading off every night. Last night it was Matt Joyce and he hit a home run in the first inning which turned out to be all the offense the Rays would need. This came just 2 days after David DeJesus led off and hit a home run. For the record, the Rays have had 9 different hitters bat lead off this year…Jake Odorizzi. Odorizzi won’t be able to start on Friday. But by throwing 3 innings last night, the bullpen will be nearly fully rested for the final 5 games as the Rays make a playoff push…Eliminating the Yankees. We’ve known for a while that the Yankees were road kill. But prior to last night’s game many Yankees fans were still holding out hope that the Yankees could win their final six games and sneak into the playoffs. Not now.

THE BAD: Matt Moore. Moore tossed 5 shutout innings and should be commended for that. But man, that was as bad as 5 shutout innings can look. He needed 107 pitches to get through 5 innings, with just 64 strikes. Of the 25 batters he faced, 9 got on base including 6 walks. He also threw 3 wild pitches in an ugly effort and I am still not sure how he didn’t give up 5 runs…Minor Injuries Starting To Pile Up. Yunel Escobar left the game with a sore ankle and is considered day-to-day. Jose Lobaton also left the game. He had a sore elbow and is also day-to-day. This comes after Desmond Jennings strained a hamstring and has missed the last two games.

THE TELLING: Jake Odorizzi pitched the final 3 innings to pick up the save. But more importantly that means Jeremy Hellickson will start on Friday…The Rays’ Magic Number is now 4. Even if the Rays win just 2 of their final 5 games to reach 90 wins, the Rangers would have to go 5-0 to pass the Rays. In other words, there are 10 games remaining for those two teams combined. The Rays need just 3 of them to go the Rays’ way (Rays win or Rangers loss) to guarantee at least a play-in game.


  • Both Andrew Friedman and Stuart Sternberg have pointed out this week that the unbalanced schedule has made the Wild Card race unfair (e.g. Rays will play 96 games against teams with a winning record this season, the Rangers will play 78). They are right, but baseball is never going back to a balanced schedule without major realignment. TV makes the rules and a balanced schedules are bad for TV. [BI Sports]
  • Here’s a roundup of other stadium situations around baseball. [Shadow of the Stadium]
  • And so it begins. The Bucs have benched Josh Freeman and replaced him with Mike Glennon. [JoeBucsFan]






  1. Rob says:

    I'm a little worried about the injuries, especially Desmond's. Hopefull Hellickson's great work out of the bullpen on Friday night will be a springboard for a great start this Friday.

  2. Amanda says:

    Cork, did you hear about the madness that happened at Replica Yankee Stadium because the Rivera bobbleheads didn't get to the stadium on time? I saw it on Quick Pitch on MLB Network this morning. I didn't watch ESPN (well, I *don't* watch ESPN) so I don't know how they played it, but if that had happened at the Trop, the Rays would have been blasted for being a Mickey Mouse organization.

    On a related note, Quick Pitch is the best highlight show, and it runs all morning. They actually lead off with the most important games or the most important news, not the teams that are going to get them the best ratings. There's usually one day a week that they'll have two people hosting the show, but it's usually just one person, and it reminds me of the old CNN Headline News: One person reading the news with no chit-chat or one-upsmanship with outlandish opinions.

  3. Gus says:

    Cork: Does your evaluation of the Rangers v. Rays account for a 3-way tie between Texas, Cleveland and TB?

    Aftr watching the Indians walk-off magic last night, Rays really want to be the host of the wild-card game. They have no closer. They have no starters, really. But Cleveland is starting to believe.

    Seems likely that the Rangers would have to use Darvish on Sunday to get in. As much as I dread seeing Texas and Beltre in the playoffs again, that might actually be the preferable match-up if you didn't have to see Darvish. I think under any sceanrio, Rays fans want Cleveland and Texas playing down to the last day and then coming to the Trop.

    Maddon has done a very nice job the last week or so. Both tactics and making the fellas believe too. Maybe his best stretch of managerial moves I can remember.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Nope. Just looking at what it would take for the Rangers to pass the Rays and to end the Rays' season. One less would lead to a play-in game(s).

    • Alex says:

      Um the Indians have 4 starters, 5 if you count Masterson but he won't start again this year, with ERA's under 4. The only one above 4 is Kazmir with a 4.14 era. I'd rather face Texas only if we aren't facing Darvish. Cleveland would be a better match up overall. They are playing a garbage schedule right now.

      • Gus says:

        I meant no dominant starters who strikes fear for a 1-game set, like Darvish or maybe Scherzer or King Felix. Cleveland is probably the more dangerous team in terms of "positive vibes". Texas would be a pleasure to knock them out given 2010-11. Just feel like we could shut down Cleveland in a home game at the Trop and manage to scratch a few across.

        Probably bad luck to be looking ahead given the drama these Rays have put us through all season. Just win what is in front of you.

  4. Sledge says:


    How was Odorizzi granted a save? He came in when the score was 5-0. Can you explain that quirk?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      There is a little-used part of the save rule that says a pitcher can get a save if he finishes the game and pitched at least 3 innings and the team won. Under these conditions it doesn't matter how big the lead it.

    • Drew says:

      Hilarious rule. A save was recorded in the 30-3 Rangers/O's game.

      • Rob says:

        Wow - you know what else is crazy? The O's led that game 3-0 after 3 innings. Also it was only 5-3 in the 6th, meaning the Rangers scored 25 runs in 4 innings.


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